The Prime MInister has announced a new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. The initiative is part of a renewed emphasis on addressing the inequalities faced by people experiencing mental health problems.

EASPD and EUSE would like to promote better employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and your help is needed. EASPD and EUSE invite you to share your best practice, model, method or tool by participating in the EASPD and EUSE Employment for All Awards.

Your best practice will:

Learning and Work Institute (L&W) are conducting research on behalf of the Department for Education to explore solutions to overcoming recruitment barriers for those with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) to entering apprenticeships. The research will support the Government in implementing the recommendations made by the Maynard taskforce, convened to explore access to apprenticeships for those with LDD. The research aims to:

The Department for Education is consulting on the draft strategic guidance document from Government to the Institute for Apprenticeships for 2017-18. The consultation closes on 31 January 2017.

The Government has set out a programme of reform to raise the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. To underpin these reforms, the Institute for Apprenticeships will be established as an independent body to act as the guarantor of the integrity of the apprenticeships system, with a mandate to assure quality and provide objective advice on future funding for apprenticeship training.

BASE is seeking two agencies that would be interested in piloting draft Quality Standards for Supported Employment services. The work is part of our Erasmus project which is developing a Quality Framework for Supported Employment in partnership with organisations in Belgium, Ireland, Norway and Spain.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will support projects to develop local solutions in specific neighbourhoods, or across a greater area, or even across a local authority or service delivery boundaries. They are seeking projects that bring together the community and local authorities to design and implement services in partnership and so are looking for joint bids.

A new Work and Pensions Committee report says former offenders leaving prison face a "cliff edge" drop off in support offered to help them re-enter normal life and find work, and that even while in prison, education and employment support are fragmented and good practice is "patchy and inconsistent".

'The London Borough of Sutton is publishing a specification for its Supported Employment Service prior to a formal tendering process, which will start in January 2017. It is to provide an opportunity for interested providers to collaborate and to consider a creative and innovative partnership approach to delivering the service outlined. If providers are aware of models good practice that can further inform the service specification then Sutton Council is inviting providers to share them via the portal.

Pluss have secured three Big Lottery Fund grants to deliver the Building Better Opportunities programme across South West England. Building Better Opportunities is a project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The new programme, to be known locally as ‘Positive People’, will allow Pluss and its partners to maximise the impact of over £14 million in funding over three years to support people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, troubled families, and black, Asian and ethnic minority groups. The programme will focus on promoting social inclusion, and driving local jobs and growth.

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Supported Employment will shortly be under review and BASE will be seeking your feedback on the draft revised standards. 

In 2016 UKCES invited tenders for the delivery of services associated with occupational standards, apprenticeships and qualifications (S&F Childcare, Career and Community Development Tender Ref:2016-2017) across the UK. A consortium of sector bodies led by SkillsActive has been successful in its bid to deliver standards and frameworks to the sectors represented by the partner members until 31st March 2017.  BASE is leading the review of the National Occupational Standards for Supported Employment.